Lack of preparation and structure can result in you making an ill informed decision and may see you employing the wrong person for the job. Here are some tips to help you avoid pitfalls

1. Ask one question at a time
To ensure that you get the information that you are looking for make sure that you have a structure in place for the questions that you want to ask and don't confuse the candidates by asking more than one question at a time. Provide links where possible between major topics, e.g., "we've been talking about (some topic) and now I'd like to move on to (another topic)."

2. Attempt to remain as neutral as possible
Try not to show strong emotional reactions to candidate responses. Instead respond with occasional nods of the head, "uh huh"s, etc. This will ensure that each candidate feels that they have been treated fairly and individually.

3. Be careful about the appearance when note taking
That is, if you jump to take a note, it may appear as if you're surprised or very pleased about an answer, which may influence answers to future questions. Where possible try and have a note taker so that you can really focus on responses.

4. Drill down on responses
What you are after is specific answers so asking questions using the words specifically and exactly will prompt the candidate to give specific detailed answers. During a competency based interview asking " What specifically was you role ?" or " What exactly did you do ?" should get you the required answers.

5. Don't lose control of the interview
This can occur when candidates stray to another topic, take so long to answer a question that times begins to run out, or even begin asking questions to you. You will probably have a time limit so it is your role to keep the interview on track.

6. Check your notes
Immediately after the interview take the time to read back through your notes and just confirm and test your understanding. Also write down any observations made during the interview. For example, where did the interview occur and when, was the candidate particularly nervous at any time? Were there any surprises during the interview? To clarify any scratchings, ensure pages are numbered, fill out any notes that don't make sense, etc.

Remember that you have a great responsibility when interviewing to not only give the candidate every opportunity to be successful but also to ensure that you get the right person for the job. Using the tips that we have shared with you over the last few weeks will help you make the right decision

About the author

phil laviolettephil laviolette

Hi!, I'm Phil LaViolette, Founder and Owner of evalu8d. I created resourcily to share hints, tips and resources I've collected over 20 years of training and coaching, across lots of industries and at all levels. I hope that, even in a small way, you gain from the tools I share!
Phil